Solar cars ready for Darwin-Adelaide race

World Solar Challenge teams are preparing their cars for the 3000km journey from Darwin to Adelaide.
World Solar Challenge teams are preparing their cars for the 3000km journey from Darwin to Adelaide.

The defending champions in the World Solar Challenge are back on track after a crash in testing forced significant repairs.

The NunaX car of the Dutch Vattenfall team clipped a wall during trials at the Hidden Valley race circuit in Darwin on Wednesday, causing damage to the car's left side and cracking the wing.

The setback came just days before Sunday's start in the 3000km solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide.

But after a full night working on the car, the team declared it was ready for Saturday speed trials and the gruelling trip across the country.

"Everything has been checked and with just a scar on our lion and the wing, NunaX looks great again," the team said in a Facebook post.

Race organisers said the leading teams in the solar challenge had all passed static scrutineering including NunaX and the Electrum car from the University of Michigan team that finished in second place two years ago.

As they battle for pole position, both NunaX and Electrum will need to post fast times to hold off BluePoint from the Belgium Agoria Solar Team, which will have professional Nascar driver Bert Longin behind the wheel.

Other leading teams in this year's race include Kogakuin, Team Tokai and NITech from Japan and two more teams from the Netherlands, Team Twente and Top Dutch Solar Racing.

The fastest Australian car is expected to be Unlimited 3 from Western Sydney University.

Event Director Chris Selwood said he was impressed with all teams' level of preparation this year and the significant evolution in technology.

"I can't wait for the hot laps on Saturday,' Mr Selwood said.

Australian Associated Press